Kia EV3 vs Tesla Model Y: Can Kia’s new entry-level car take on Tesla?

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The Kia EV3 shares many design elements with its larger counterpart, the popular EV9, but with a more compact form factor. Sporting a relatively boxy design, it features the signature split taillight appearance and incorporates Kia’s iconic Tiger Face design at the front. Notably, the EV3 is equipped with rear-hinged back doors, allowing both the front and rear doors to open outward. While this design choice may enhance accessibility, particularly for tasks like installing car seats, it also serves as a visual cue to the vehicle’s smaller dimensions. Measuring in at 169 inches long, 73 inches wide, and 61 inches tall, the EV3 is well-suited for urban environments and tight parking spaces.

In contrast, the Tesla Model Y embodies Tesla’s minimalist design philosophy. Familiar to those acquainted with other Tesla models, the Model Y features a sleek, curvaceous roofline and a distinctive bubble-like front end. While this design has garnered acclaim, some critics argue that it’s beginning to feel outdated. With dimensions of 187 inches in length, 76 inches in width, and 64 inches in height, the Model Y offers a larger footprint compared to the more compact EV3, catering to those seeking a more spacious interior and commanding road presence.

Kia EV3 vs. Tesla Model Y: A Detailed Comparison

 

Design

Kia EV3:

  • Appearance: Resembles the Kia EV9 with a boxy design, split taillights, and Kia’s Tiger Face front.
  • Features: Rear-hinged back doors for easier access.
  • Dimensions: 169 inches long, 73 inches wide, 61 inches high.

Tesla Model Y:

  • Appearance: Minimalistic design, curvy roofline, bubble-like front, similar to other Tesla models.
  • Dimensions: 187 inches long, 76 inches wide, 64 inches high.

Verdict: Both have unique design elements catering to different tastes. This category is a tie as design preferences are subjective.

Winner: Tie

 

Interior and Tech

Kia EV3:

  • Interior: Bright, modern look with a dual display panel (infotainment and instrument monitoring).
  • Tech: Expected support for CarPlay and Android Auto, uses Kia’s own infotainment system.
  • Sustainability: Incorporates recycled materials.

Tesla Model Y:

  • Interior: Minimalistic, clean look with few buttons. Central 15-inch display.
  • Tech: Tesla’s infotainment system, no CarPlay or Android Auto.

Verdict: The Kia offers more physical controls and expected CarPlay support, while the Tesla boasts a cleaner design and superior infotainment system.

Winner: Tie

 

Performance

Kia EV3:

  • Acceleration: Fastest trim accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds.
  • Positioning: Budget SUV, less premium than EV9.

Tesla Model Y:

  • Acceleration: Base Model Y Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive hits 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, Performance model in 3.5 seconds.

Verdict: The Tesla Model Y offers significantly better performance.

Winner: Tesla Model Y

 

Range and Charging

Kia EV3:

  • Battery Options: Standard Range 58.3 kWh, Long Range 81.4 kWh.
  • Range: Up to 600 km (373 miles) WLTP-estimated, likely closer to 300 miles EPA.

Tesla Model Y:

  • Range: Performance model 279 miles, Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive 320 miles EPA-estimated.

Verdict: Without EPA estimates for the EV3, this category remains uncertain but is leaning towards a tie.

Winner: Tie

 

Price and Availability

Kia EV3:

  • Availability: Expected in Korea by July 2024, Europe in late 2024, potential U.S. release in 2025.
  • Price: Estimated between $30,000 and $35,000.

Tesla Model Y:

  • Availability: Currently available.
  • Price: Starting at $44,990.

Verdict: Tesla Model Y wins for availability.

Winner: Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y is likely the better all-around vehicle in terms of performance and availability. However, the Kia EV3 could be a strong competitor if it comes at a significantly lower price point. For those who prioritize immediate availability and high performance, the Tesla Model Y is the clear choice. For budget-conscious consumers willing to wait, the Kia EV3 may present a compelling option when it becomes available.